New Delhi: The Indian media, which faces the
challenge of being more inclusive, needs to facilitate entry
of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into newsrooms as
they have little representation there, Professor Robin
Jeffrey, a leading authority on media affairs, said today.
Explaining what he construed as a serious challenge for
the Indian media, Jeffrey said there are "newsrooms and
broadcast studios which have almost no Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled tribes amongst them on the editorial side."
"That means that close to one in every four Indians will
not find anyone much like themselves writing stories, going to
camera or making decisions about what is news," he added.
Jeffrey, a leading academic known for his work `India`s
Newspaper Revolution`, made these points at the Rajendra
Mathur Lecture organised by the Editors` Guild of India whose
President and senior journalist T N Ninan earlier welcomed
Jeffrey said that for a very long time Dalits and Tribals
had continued to be away from the mainstream media and though
anomaly had been noticed in the past, the problem had
He suggested Indians could act on the lines of what the
American Society Newspapers Editors had done 35 years ago when
they had begun an audit of African-Americans presence in the
newsrooms and set target for a rough parity for minorities.
"Annual audit of SC/ST presence in the newsroom and
perhaps some very modest annual targets for inducting and
bringing along journalists from such communities" could be a
solution, he said.
Another suggestion Jeffrey gave was setting up of a trust
for funding a "high quality publication, preferably a
magazine, devoted to the issues surrounding the SC/ST